Inquiring minds want to know

By Razib Khan | August 9, 2007 8:59 pm

Just How Hot Is That Red Hot Chili Pepper?.

  • dougjnn

    As a lover of moderately hot (by your standards, I think) or very hot peppers (by many other’s standards), on occasion, I have a naive question to ask.
    Is there a level of habenero or other chile hotness that is or can be actually injurious, or is it all pe4rceptual?

  • razib

    Is there a level of habenero or other chile hotness that is or can be actually injurious, or is it all pe4rceptual?
    yes. though with wild peppers i think it is quantity, not quality. none of them reach pepper spray levels of spice. the pure caps extracts i get always have extreme warning labels.

  • Ruchira

    Oh Razib, you didn’t tell them about this one!

  • Sandgroper

    “In large quantities, capsaicin can cause death. Symptoms of overdose include difficulty breathing, blue skin, and convulsions. The large amount needed to kill an adult human and the low concentration of capsaicin in chilis make accidental poisoning by chili consumption exceedingly unlikely.”

  • Sandgroper

    Of course, if you eat them like grapes and wash them down with tequila, it improves the chances of turning blue.
    I watched two guys having a contest doing that one night. Neither of them made it to work the next day.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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